Monday, 30 April 2012

Did a nude motorbike passenger really receive a warning from Romanian police?

On the news pages of the Mirror website, the banner says:

On 24 April, under this banner, the Mirror published this story:

The article by 'agency staff' says:

They're the kind of bumpers that could be a serious safety hazard for other pop-eyed road users.

But when this nude pillion passenger was stopped by traffic police in Constanta, Romania, the only thing she was pinched for was for not wearing a helmet.

These pictures - taken by other motorists clearly impressed by her boot-y - were taken after she obeyed the police warning and put her crash-hat back on.

And her ample bodywork - now to be found on Facebook - could teach any motorist a thing or two about dangerous curves.

"The officer was a traffic cop and the only traffic offence she'd committed was in not wearing a helmet," explained one witness to Romanian media today.

"So he gave her a warning and a ticket and told her and her companion to ride on," they added.

The same story with the same quotes was repeated by the Metro the day after.

The Mirror's article comes with two photos of the woman on the motorbike, suitably pixelated.

However, as revealed by BildBlog, these photos were posted online on 31 October 2007 (NSFW) by someone who, ahem, clearly had a fondness for sharing (and, possibly, taking) photos of women who are naked in public.

It also appears that most of the cars in the photographs carry licence plates from the Czech Republic, which suggests the photos might not have been taken in Romania at all.

It's not clear where the quote from the anonymous 'witness' came from.

If this incident happened - and that seems doubtful given the origin of the photos - it must have happened over four-and-a-half years ago.

That's 'real news'. In 'real time'. 

(Hat-tip to Petra O)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Mara Wilson criticises the Mail's 'lack of integrity'

At the Olivier Awards earlier this month, the musical Matilda won seven awards.

Soon after, MailOnline published an article about Mara Wilson, who played Matilda in the 1996 film directed by Danny DeVito.

The Mail's article originally ran under the headline:

As musical dominates Olivier awards, former child star Mara Wilson, 24, rants about how film acting 'is tedious'

That then changed to:

What ever happened to the original Matilda? As musical dominates Olivier awards, we look at cute child movie star Mara Wilson, 24, as she abandons acting

It currently reads:

What happened to the original Matilda? As the hit musical dominates Olivier awards, former child star Mara Wilson, seen aged 24

Mara Wilson was less than impressed with the Mail and took to her blog (Mara Wilson Writes Stuff) to explain:

I had read articles in the Daily Mail before, so I knew what to expect: something cheap and sensationalist. What I did not expect was an article composed almost entirely of out-of-context quotes from my blog. There were no citations and there was no link to the original post on my site. It didn’t even seem to have been proofread: it ended mid-quotation.

Simple fact-checking escaped the author, as well: I was a Drama major at NYU, not an art major (I understand they’re both considered “useless” degrees, but the fact is easily verifiable); I was five, not four when I started acting and starred in Doubtfire (which is not a big deal, unless you either know a good deal about child development or take a second to realize that 1993 minus 1987 equals six and I would have has a birthday at some point that year); I’ve never had any “bit parts” in “low-budget films” (though I almost wish I had, as most of my favorite movies are low-budget movies. Blame my having dated an NYU film major for three years: film snobbery is contagious.)

It was a mess, and it made me seem bitter and ungrateful. I was less than thrilled.

She goes on:

The article has changed several times since then: there is now a link to my page, entire paragraphs have been shifted around or deleted. My description has also been updated from “the brunette” to “the young playwright,” which is nice: I prefer to be recognized for the things I do rather than what I look like. It still speaks of my “damning views” on child acting and implies that I am “bitter,” but the title no longer refers to my explanatory blog post as a “rant.” There is now an additional author’s name on the article. Some friends have suggested that I contact them to suggest they list me as a co-author. After all, I wrote half the article.


a friend from NYU contacted a friend of his who writes for the Daily Mail to ask if he had anything to do with it. He said he hadn’t, but that if I was interested, they would give me the chance to write a piece for them. I declined, because they wanted it to be about child acting and I would have rather it been about the Daily Mail‘s lack of integrity.

She ends:

That said, what bothered me most was that I was not credited. Disrespectful comments about myself or what I did as a child I can deal with, and will be dealing with for the rest of my life. But I cannot abide disrespect and near plagiarism of what I’ve written....

This was not the easiest week, but a lot of good has come of it. Besides, I know now that if writing plays doesn’t pan out, I can easily get a job at the Daily Mail. I am an expert copy-and-paster.

(Hat-tip to Craig Silverman)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

'A possibility'

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann: 'Detectives believe there is a possibility that Madeleine McCann is still alive.'

So how does the Express - whose previous coverage has been so problematic - cover this 'possibility'?

'We have never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers'

Rupert Murdoch appeared at the Leveson Inquiry today. Under oath, he said:

I take a particularly strong pride in the fact that we have never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers.


The first article this blog ever wrote about was this one in the Sun:

Here's the full text of this 'news' article:

WATCHING telly can help you beat the winter blues.

A top psychologist studied British TV and found a mix of bright colours, laughter and music can help lifts Brits from their winter gloom.

Sky psychologist Donna Dawson identified what cheers viewers up and has compiled the Sky+ HD Happier Days TV Guide packed with shows to lift the spirit.

She has rated each programme using the categories Colour, Laughter, Music, Bonding, Escapism and Inspirational so viewers know how it will boost their mood.

Donna explained: “Colour research reveals bright colours lift your mood and can help you to feel more positive, excited, happy or relaxed.

“Laughter has also been shown to release endorphins from the brain, the body’s natural feel good chemicals.

“By watching an uplifting film or intense sports event in High Definition, fed-up viewers can enjoy the invigorating roar of a stadium crowd in their living room.

Click here to see a TV guide to help beat the blues

“Or they can enjoy a bit of escapism by being transported to the setting of a far-away exotic nature documentary.”

February’s Sky+ HD highlights include the upbeat Abba musical ‘Mama Mia!’ on Valentine’s Day.

‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ and ‘Run, Fat Boy, Run’ should also have viewers chuckling.

If you’re after escapism there’s other films like ‘The Golden Compass’ and ‘Happy Feet’ on offer.

While documentaries such as ‘Wildlife Photographers Widescreen’ could provide a much-needed dose of colour this winter. 

Gary Gibbon from Channel 4 News adds:

The “I-Sky” column in “Private Eye,” listing constant references bigging up Sky’s output in Murdoch papers, would presumably come as a bit of a shock.

The Express and 'scaremongering' over a double-dip recession

Daily Express, 27 February 2012:

The way the economy is bouncing back is great news for Britain...

As the eurozone slides towards a predicted 0.3 per cent recession Britain is on course to grow by 0.8 per cent. The remarkable performance of Great Britain plc is built on a solid foundation: we’re making more, building more and selling more...

Britain still has a long way to go but it is obvious now that those who talk of us sliding into a double dip recession are simply scaremongering.

Express website, 25 April 2012:

(Original quote spotted by George Eaton)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Express, Europe and pensions

Two of the subjects that frequently appear on the front page of the Express are Europe and pensions. Today, they both appear in one headline:

Regular readers of the Express may feel they've heard this before. For example, on 15 March 2012:

Today's article, echoing the March one, claims:

Meddling European bureaucrats are threatening to kill off Britain’s final salary pension schemes.

They want to impose tough financial rules on them that would cost up to £600billion.

But few employers would be able to afford the terms and most would be forced to close the schemes, according to experts.

The so-called Solvency II rules, which would affect about 6,400 workplace schemes in Britain, are designed to bring them into line with other European countries.

Then, as now, there are no firm proposals on the table. The Express claims the rules will be 'Solvency II'.

But following the 15 March article, the EC Representative in the UK said:

“Europe” is not considering extending the Solvency II rules for the insurance industry to pension funds in a way that would force the closure of final salary pension schemes.

Articles (14 Feb) in the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph and the Independent paint an incomplete and sometimes misleading picture.

There is a current review of the rules applying to pension funds. But the Commission will not put forward proposals for some months yet.

Those proposals will definitely not “cut and paste” Solvency II provisions into pension rules. They will be based on detailed impact assessments and will be designed to make pensions safer – so that people do not contribute for many years and then lose out – without undermining the supply of occupational pension provision.

Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier has made a comprehensive public statement (10 Feb) on these issues, regrettably not referred to in any of the articles. It is available on his website.

The proposals will of course only take effect if agreed by a majority of MEPs and a “qualified” (i.e very large) majority of Member States. The UK has never in EU history been outvoted on an item of financial regulation.

Today's article doesn't quote any of this. It does include this:

Speaking at a public hearing last month Michel Barnier, the European commissioner responsible for internal market and services, acknowledged the “concern” over possible regulatory changes, but he also said there was a need for “robust rules” to protect pensioners”.

But the Express ignores Barnier's more explicit comments on this issue. In February he said (pdf):

To be clear: I have never said or suggested that pension funds should be subject to exactly the same rules as Solvency II. If that had been the Commission's intention, we would have proposed this back in 2007 when we presented the Solvency II Directive. The Commission did not do so for very good reasons...

The proposals I will make before the end of the year will be based on in depth impact assessments. In no way do I want to take actions which could undermine the supply of occupational pension provision. We need pension funds to continue playing their role as long-term investors, as this is essential for long-term jobs and growth.

I am well aware we cannot ask companies in the EU, notably SMEs, to lock up capital in their pension funds. Companies need access to finance to grow and compete in global markets. And I am also well aware that pension funds in different Member States have different features, and I don’t want to penalise well functioning systems...

We will inspire ourselves from the Solvency II approach when appropriate but that does not mean we will "copy and paste" Solvency II. I repeat: I want to maintain a level playing field within the Single Market. This means it is important that the same products and activities are subject to the same requirements, regardless of the structure of the provider. But it does not mean I will propose the extension of Solvency II as such to pension funds.

As with the issue of plastic bags, it seems the Express prefers scaremongering and rhetoric rather than waiting to see what is actually proposed by the EU.

Friday, 20 April 2012

'Doctors advised her to stay in hospital'

On 15 April, the Sun reported:

It was quickly picked up and repeated by the Mail:

Both claim the patient had been told to go for a walk 'on doctors' orders' although do not provide evidence or quotes to support this.

By contrast, the hospital - Darent Valley - released a statement stating:

“She came into the Emergency Department at Darent Valley late on Thursday evening, was assessed and was admitted to our Clinical Decisions Unit. Doctors advised her to stay in hospital. However, she took the decision to leave.”

'Yet another boring untrue story'

The Sun's Gordon Smart, 27 March 2012:

The Sun's front page, 19 April 2012:

Jessie J, on Twitter, 19 April 2012:

Its funny how many people I've datedslept with that I've never even met according to the tabloids. BUT what's that?! *whispers because its a secret* I'm really a lesbian?! Ha! Thanks for writing yet another boring untrue story. I thought I was still dating Tinie, NO Ellie G, NO Mark Wright....bla bla bla! #cantkeepup #noneofitstrue

Sunday, 15 April 2012

'Firefighters were not stopped from entering the water due to health and safety protocols'

On Friday, the Mail was so excited about what it claimed was the latest 'elf 'n' safety' fiasco, it put the story on the front page:

The article by Eleanor Harding and Mark Duell states:

It looked like a major emergency – 25 firemen standing at the water’s edge assessing the life-threatening situation before them.

Stranded 200ft out and struggling for survival was the victim they had come to rescue...a seagull.

And if that scenario were not ludicrous enough, there was worse to come.

The firemen were then barred from going into the 3ft-deep water because it was judged to be a health and safety risk.

As crews from five fire engines stood beside the pond in South London for up to an hour, it fell to a member of the public to pull on his waders and rescue the bird, which was caught up in a plastic bag.

It was accompanied by an editorial (which included the curious phrase 'the legendary Mr Littlejohn') and was followed by comment pieces by Dominique Jackson and Mr Littlejohn. All refer to a health and safety risk assessment that stopped the firemen from rescuing the bird.

However, the London Fire Brigade's statement on the incident puts it slightly differently:

The Brigade was called to the scene by the RSPCA as an emergency and the Brigade always takes calls from such organisations seriously. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 1407 and the incident was declared over at 1411.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:

“The RSPCA called us out as an emergency. Our firefighters rushed to the scene only to realise they’d been called out to a seagull with a plastic bag round its leg which was swimming around quite happily and wasn’t in any distress. This clearly wasn’t an emergency so the firefighters left it to a local animal rescue charity to deal with and swiftly left the scene.

“Often, by the time our firefighters arrive at an incident, someone has waded in to try and rescue an animal only to get into danger themselves, so we send enough crews to deal with whatever we may find. The safety of the public and our firefighters is always our priority.”

Firefighters were not stopped from entering the water due to health and safety protocols. Just this week, LFB crews were called to rescue a man after the bulldozer he was driving fell 40 feet down into a quarry pit. When they realised the man’s life was at risk, the firefighters acted outside of normal procedures and risked their own personal safety to lift him out and save his life. London Fire Brigade’s firefighter are trained to make difficult judgement calls about when it is right to risk their lives in order to save another. 

The Mail has not published this statement.

The Mail also contacted the HSE's Mythbusters Challenge Panel on Thursday, and then wrote a critical, mocking article when they didn't get an immediate response - presumably, a response to the version of the incident as told to them by the Mail:

The Daily Mail contacted the panel at 3pm. But despite being given a whole afternoon to mull it over and it being only the fifth inquiry since the panel’s launch a day before, it failed to give an answer.

It's open to question whether contacting someone at 3pm really gives them 'a whole afternoon' to reply. But perhaps the Panel wanted to do a bit more fact-checking before giving a knee-jerk reaction? In fact, the Panel issued a statement on Friday - the day the Mail's front page article appeared. It said:

"We have now had chance to examine the facts in this case and it is clear that it was not about health and safety at all. The fire service itself has made clear that their decisions at Carshalton were not based on health and safety factors. We endorse this view.

"The Myth Buster Challenge Panel has been set up to bring common sense back to decisions made in the name of health and safety, and to do our job properly we need to establish the facts. We will try our best to meet deadlines when we can but not at the expense of working on hearsay rather than facts. We said that we aim to make a response within 48 hours and it has taken us less than 24 hours to respond to this case."

Despite the hurry to get the Panel's view, and the huffy response when they didn't get it within a few hours, the Mail has not yet informed its readers of this statement.

A statement which has, at time of writing, been in the public domain for two days.

Friday, 13 April 2012

'I now know this is not Mrs Briggs’s view'

A clarification from the Mail's Richard Kay, published on 28 March:

Last week in an article about the Duchess of York’s former dresser Jane Andrews, who has been in prison for 11 years for murder, I reported Mrs Basia Briggs as saying she hoped Andrews didn’t get parole. I now know this is not Mrs Briggs’s view and regret the misunderstanding that led me to say that it was. In fact, she hopes that Andrews can repair her life.

(Hat-tip to Richard)

Mail clarifies 'inaccurate' article about the BBC

On 17 February, the Mail published the article 'Half of BBC staff who pocketed £4m pay-off carried on working in the same job'.

The paper claimed:

The BBC spent £4million laying off staff – only for nearly half of them to continue working as normal.

The money was paid to around 70 workers as compensation because their posts were being relocated north to Salford.
But after accepting the ‘redundancy’ money – £57,000 each, on average – about 17 of them simply carried on in the same jobs, it is understood.

The BBC responded with a statement that said the Mail's article was:

inaccurate and misrepresents the facts

Today, the Mail has published a clarification:

An article on February 15 suggested that 17 BBC workers had carried on in the same jobs after accepting redundancy money of £57,000 each. We are happy to clarify that, while their leaving dates were delayed, the workers did not in fact receive their pay-offs until they had left.

Once again, we see the Mail trying to downplay the original claim, reducing it to just a 'suggestion'. 

Moreover, the Mail says it is now 'happy to clarify' that the pay-offs were not received until after the workers had left.

But this is exactly what the BBC told the paper in the original story:

It confirmed some staff did stay on working ‘to help manage the transfer of the operation’ but said they did not receive their payoffs until they left.

Needless to say, this was left to the third-last sentence of the article. But clearly it was ignored by the paper and its journalist Sam Greenhill. If only the Mail had listened, rather than writing the story it wanted to write regardless, then this clarification - which includes no apology - wouldn't have been necessary.

Furthermore, at time of writing, the original article remains live on MailOnline with the inaccuracy intact. It has not been edited, and the clarification has not been added.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

'Wonder jab' story 'over-hyped and misleading'

On Monday 9 April, the Express published its latest 'cancer cure' story:

On 20 January, the paper reported that statins beat cancer:

On 10 March, it was 'new aspirin':

Two days later, it was aspirin:

Now it is a 'wonder jab' that kills '90% of the cancers'.

The Express seems to have picked up the story from the Telegraph, which referred to a 'universal cancer vaccine'.

The Telegraph seems to have got the story from a press release (pdf) issued by the producers of the vaccine in question. It cites unpublished results from just seven patients.

Both articles include a quote from Dr Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK, but both relegate it to the very end. She says:

“There are several groups around the world investigating ­treatments that target MUC1 as it’s a very ­interesting target involved in several types of cancer.

“These are very early results that are yet to be fully published, so there’s a lot more work to be done to prove that this particular vaccine is safe and effective.”

On the Cancer Research UK Science Blog, she wrote more about these stories:
We are concerned that some of the coverage of this story has been over-hyped and misleading.

She added:

It’s important to be cautious about the results from the early-stage trial of ImMucin reported in the media, which are based on data from seven patients (out of ten treated so far) with multiple myeloma – a cancer affecting the immune system.

Furthermore, the team’s results are yet to be published in the scientific literature – the ‘gold standard’ for reliable research. Instead, the results have come directly from a press release from Vaxil Biotherapeutics Ltd, the company that makes the vaccine – something that wasn’t made clear in some of the media coverage of the story...

While MUC1 is certainly an important target in cancer and the results from the handful of myeloma patients in the ImMucin trial look promising, it’s a far cry from being a “wonder jab” that “kills 90% of all cancers”.

Finally, Arney noted that following the publication of these stories, Cancer Research UK had been contacted by concerned patients asking about the treatment:

We’ve already been contacted by cancer patients wondering how to get access to this “wonder jab” as a result of the news coverage. As we’ve said before, over-hyped stories like this only serve to raise false hopes in people suffering from cancer and mislead the public.

Every day cancer researchers in labs and hospitals around the world are making huge strides against this terrible disease, and their progress and successes deserve to be reported to the public. But misrepresenting and over-selling their early baby-steps isn’t helpful to anyone, most of all cancer patients and their families.

Perhaps Cancer Research UK should forward these calls to the Telegraph's Richard Gray and the Express' Paul Broster. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

EC challenges Mail over English tests for health workers

On 31 March, the Mail published an article by John Naish under the headline: 'The doctor and nurses putting lives at risk because they can't speak English'.

It included this passage:

Yet, far from tackling this dangerous situation, the European Union is set to reinforce rules which ban English tests for doctors and nurses from the EU before they are allowed to work here, branding it a ‘restraint of free movement’ of workers.

The European directive, currently being debated in Brussels, insists that British employers can only test medics from Europe after their poor English has endangered patient care, flagging ‘serious and concrete doubt about the professional’s sufficient language knowledge’.

It concluded:

Sadly, if the EU gets its way, it’s clear we cannot be sure that hospital staff will speak decent conversational English, let alone the sort of complex technical terminology that can save lives, or at the very least, not put them in danger.

This led the EC Representative in the UK to write a letter to the Mail:

Contrary to Paul Naish’s article in the Mail on 31 March, there is nothing in EU law that prevents the UK from checking the language skills of doctors and nurses from elsewhere in the EU. There is no “new Brussels Directive against language checks”. Instead, proposed revisions to EU rules will make even clearer that all EU-qualified health professionals can be subject to checks before they take up a post. Far from EU law “taking precedence” over the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans to reinforce such checks, the European Commission has welcomed those plans.

Mark English, Head of Media

The Mail did publish this letter, in slightly edited form - but only on page 83. It has not been added to the end of the online article.

The EC in the UK adds:

The newspaper did not contact the European Commission before publication.

An advert for an advert

There are offers on the front pages of Richard Desmond's papers almost every day. On Friday 30 March, the Daily Express and the Daily Star had this:

And on Monday 2 April, the same offer for a different supermarket:

So: £5 off a £40 shop at Tesco and Asda - with the promise of more details inside.

But it turned out that those promotions were simply existing offers running at both supermarkets. Those mentions on the front pages were simply adverts for an advert. Like this, in Monday's Express:

In other words, there was absolutely no need to buy the paper to get the offer.

Going by the comments on a couple of voucher and money saving forums, it seems several people were fooled by this.

Some have also mentioned contacting the Advertising Standards Authority. Here's 'Hanonymouse':

This one is ripe for the ASA - there is nothing on the front page that says this is an advertising promotion - and given that previously these HAVE referred to in-paper vouchers, this has to be against the rules. Waste of 30p and shoe leather!

Have complained to the ASA and Tesco - this is very underhand by whoever the promoter is - taking advantage of people who recognise the recent spate of cut-out vouchers and thought this would be the same. Surely if it's an advert and not editorial or a promotion, it needs to say so, especially as it's a BIG ad in the middle at the top of the front page.

(Hat-tip to James Holden)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Express headline 'wildly misleading'

The front of today's Daily Express claimed 'Statins halt Alzheimer's':

As ever when the Express leads on such stories, it's always worth skipping straight to the end of the article first. It's only here that Jo Willey reveals:

Dr Simon Ridley, of the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Overall evidence suggests that statins like Simvastatin do not benefit people with dementia, but this suggests the timing of treatment could be vital. Many experts believe that treatments for ­dementia will be most beneficial if given very early in the disease process.

“While these new findings are valuable, the benefits are shown in mice and we don’t know how they will bear out in humans. There is a real need to push on with research that will boost early detection and help sufferers get more benefit from treatments.”


Study leader Dr Hamel agrees more research is needed to prove if humans could benefit.

So 'Statins halt Alzheimers' eventhough we don't know if these results would apply to humans.

The NHS Behind the Headlines analysis says:

These attention-grabbing claims could easily lead readers to assume there has been a major breakthrough in the fight to cure Alzheimer’s disease. However, they are based on a small laboratory study which used mice that were bred to display signs of Alzheimer’s...

Even though these seem like positive results in mice, research has already looked directly at whether statins can stop Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in humans. For example, two recent high-quality reviews of research into statins and dementia suggest that there is no evidence that statins provide any specific benefit to humans with Alzheimer’s. While the new research suggests that the timing of statin use may allow it to have an effect, the evidence is far from conclusive and this would need to be explored further in a laboratory.

Given the limitations of this research and the uncertainty over its results, the headline “Statins halt Alzheimer’s” is wildly misleading.


Newspaper headlines about this research were generally misleading and suggested that it directly applies to humans. Most media reports took a few paragraphs, and in some cases half the article, to inform readers of the key fact that this research was carried out in mice and not humans. While the Daily Express’ headline suggests that statins have been proven to “halt Alzheimer’s”, this is not justified by the newly published research. In fact, the current body of high-quality research on this topic suggests the opposite is true.

Mail clarifies 'one joint brings on schizophrenia' story

In January, the Mail was awarded the Orwellian Prize for Journalistic Misrepresentation for its article 'Just ONE cannabis joint 'can bring on schizophrenia' as well as damaging memory'.

The research by the University of Bristol was:

not about cannabis, smoking or schizophrenia. Rather it is about an artificial compound that is not present in cannabis, which was injected into rats, and which led to changes in their brain waves.

The original article was deconstructed by Neurobonkers.

The leader of the research, Dr Matt Jones, was reported to have said:

“The study does NOT show that one spliff will bring on schizophrenia.”

And the UKCIA (who complained to the PCC) noted:

I spoke to the PR department of Bristol University who were “angry” with the way the Daily Mail reported this study. The report is a work of fiction, totally and utterly baseless lies.

Today, the Mail has published a clarification:

A report on research by the University of Bristol on 26 October was headlined 'One cannabis joint "can bring on schizophrenia".' We are happy to clarify that, as the article explained, the research on rats found that the active ingredient in cannabis could induce symptoms similar to schizophrenia, rather than schizophrenia itself.

This statement raises several questions.

The Mail changed the headline of the online article some time ago. Despite that, it has taken them five months to publish this clarification. 'Happy to clarify' indeed.

In addition, the clarification makes it sound as if there was only a problem with the headline. The article - which remains live - begins:

Smoking just one cannabis joint can bring on symptoms of schizophrenia, a study has found.

Researchers at the University of Bristol have, for the first time, looked in detail at the changes in the brains of cannabis users.

The study did not 'find' this - no joints were smoked - and it was actually the brains of rats, not cannabis users, that were tested.

The clarification also refers to the researchers using 'the active ingredient in cannabis'. In fact, they used an artificial compound called CP55940 which:

mimics the effects of naturally occurring THC (one of the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana). 

As Neurobonkers states:

The study did not use cannabis or any chemical present in cannabis.

Neurobonkers has complained to the PCC - will the Mail's clarification need further clarification?

£600,000 not £5million

The Scottish Daily Mail has published this PCC-negotiated apology:

In December the Mail reported that over £5 million was being spent on last-ditch legal bids - judicial reviews - by asylum seekers to remain in Scotland. We are happy to make clear that this figure reflects the combined sums spent on advice and assistance (£3.5 million), assistance by way of representation (£1 million), and legal aid (£0.6 million) to asylum seekers and immigrants. The cost of legal aid work on judicial reviews falls within the latter figure. We apologise if readers were misled by our original story.